For the past two years, I have been creating yearly memory books for my students. I got the idea from Kristen at Easy Teaching Tools, click on the link and it’ll take you to her original post about how she sets up her memory books.
This has been the easiest idea for collecting student work, displaying the work, and making sure the work stays nice and organized for the end of the year. The items that I used for this memory book are:
–Manila File Folders with Fasteners – Letter Size, 100-Pack, Officemate 2 Hole Punch, 30 Sheet Capacity, Black (90092), stapler with lots of staples, and tags-I use their class number, so I can reuse the numbers for many years. *none of the links are affiliate links!*
I have evolved my display board over the two years. I first started with a bulletin board style with the fabric, boards, etc. It was too much work to hang it up this year, so I just stapled the folders directly on the wall and I think it still looks great.
I try to make sure that we do at least two crafts or drawings to add to their memory books. I also take monthly photos of my students to add to their books. A teammate suggested this idea to me and I thought it was a great idea! It shows how much they have grown each month and especially from the beginning of the year.
I will be honest, it does take some planning to make sure you are adding things to their memory books each month. My first year, I was trying to come up with ideas on what to add, my second year of doing this, it is much easier because I know what I want to add and when to space those activities out. The way I do it is by on the first of the month, I will take the students picture and send it to Walgreens when I am at school so I can pick them up on my way home from school. I will have the reflection page printed on bright paper and then tape the photos onto the reflection page. The next day we reflect on the previous month, what we learned, what we did as a class that was really cool, and they will write down a goal they have for the next month. I like to keep this page up for about a week, then we do a craft to add to the book. It takes my students a good amount of time to finish their crafts. When everyone is finished, I will hang their crafts up in their memory books. After a week, we will then do a writing and directed drawing and add it to our memory books. Each month I am adding about three items to the book. I have been asked if the file folders will fall off the wall, and no they have never fallen of the wall and they are heavy with lots of memory pages, but that’s why I use a TON of staples, so we don’t have any problems.
One of my favorite activities to do at the end of the year is to take down their memory books and have students go through all of their work. You will hear things like, “OH! I remember when we did that” or “Awe, look how much I have changed since the beginning of the year!” It makes me so happy to know that they will have a wonderful memory book from their second-grade year.
If you have any further questions on how I created my memory books or where I got all of the crafts, please let me know!
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